The Webmaster’s FAQ

The basis

1. How do I modify the page layout of the public site?

Page layout management is based on files with .html extensions called layout templates. Their role is more or less the same as what other applications call also templates.

Each file is associated with a different type of page: thus, one template for the homepage, another to display the articles, another yet to display the sections, etc. A template contains standard HTML that defines the page layout and in which are inserted tags specific to SPIP in order to define which information is going to "inhabit" this layout.

SPIP’s template language is very flexible and allows the creation of varied page layouts: a glimpse at uZine, Vacarme, Hacktivist News Service as well as the sites registered by their developer in this page is enough to convince you. Therefore, It is a pity to stick to the default page layout.

2. Is it possible for me to create my own templates?

Yes. To achieve this you can refer to:
-  the tutorial to understand the basis of template programming ;
-  the reference guide which provides all the programming possibilities.

3. I do not want to / wish to learn how to program. Can I use ready-made layouts?

Yes. Apart from the default layout, there are various sets of templates available on the SPIP Contributions site Web site in the "Squelettes" section.

Usually, you just have to download the archive you want (you have a choice between the .zip or .tar.gz file), to extract it on your machine and to transfer the content by FTP to the root of your SPIP site. You can backup your actual .html files if you want to reverse to them later.

4. There aren’t many template sets available. Why?

These sets are provided by the SPIP Webmasters who kindly offer their work. Therefore, we rely on the Webmasters to complete this templates vault in order to encourage mutual help and the diversity of SPIP sites (refer to the "sharing" paragraph below).

Creating templates

1.Can I use a text editor to create or modify my templates?

Yes, as you do with traditional HTML.

2.Can I use a graphical editor (WYSIWYG) to create or modify my templates?

Yes, as you do with traditional HTML. However, refer to the next question.

3. I am trying to use a graphical editor to create my pages, but it is interfering with SPIP’s tags. Can I solve the problem?

Some graphical editors automatically "correct" the tags they don’t understand. Most of them, however, provide an option in their preferences disabling this feature. We have dedicated a specific article to Dreamweaver, but the process is much the same with other editors (GoLive…).

Sharing

1. I have created a set of templates for my site. How can I share it with everybody else?

Do not hesitate to share them on the SPIP-Contrib Web site, or send them to the address spip-dev@rezo.net, which is the developers mailing list. Just create a compressed file (.zip, .tar.gz, etc.) containing the .html files. Do not forget to include the graphical files (images…) if there are any.

Author George Published : Updated : 26/10/12

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